Over the past few weeks, I've had loads questions from readers about their weight loss concerns. It was suggested that I post a kind of 'FAQs post' to address the most common questions, so here it is!
I've had to spilt this post into many as there's a lot of really good questions! You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here . Be sure that if you can't see your question below it will be answered in another Q&A post in the very near future. If you have a question of your own to submit, see below for how to get in touch with BTBS.
1. I've lost weight myself and now my boobs have shrunk and look saggy. Any advice on making them less like a granny's?
I very much sympathise with this, I went from a GG to an F in the space of a year and I think they look a little 'deflated' as a result. What I found to be incredibly helpful was getting my bra professionally re-measured! The right bra will keep them 'up & in' if you like, making them look perky and round. Remember to also buy new sports bras when you drop a bra size, otherwise you risk putting stress on the breast tissue by jumping around in a less-than-supportive bra when working out.
2. As a photographer who is around very tiny models I'm finding that this job/career choice is killing my confidence, reading your story about feeling like a former shadow of yourself made me cry, I know I need to stop complaining and start doing, but starting it is making me scared that I'm going to fail, how did you get past these shit days?
I have days like this. When I was heavier I had to comfort myself with the rather evil inner thought of "at least there's people in the world fatter than me, so I'm not too far gone". TV shows like Supersize Vs Superskinny and The Biggest Loser would remind me that I wasn't a lost cause and if the people on these shows can do it, I had no excuse. This put my weight into perspective and I found it to be pretty good motivation too, if I see other people working out it makes me feel like I should get up and do so too.
Other ways to get my confidence up include reading life-affirming magazines like Cosmopolitan, which frequently promotes body confidence. Conversely, avoid celebrity gossip magazines at all times, as these like to pick and poke at celebs for gaining 10lbs and silly things like cellulite (which we all have at some point in our lives!). Shows like Gok Wan's How To Look Good Naked also help to remind us what real women of all ages look like so I like to watch this too.
If any of these fail, buy a new item of clothing or make-up that really shows off the part of you that you like, if it's eyes, use make-up to emphasise these, if it's legs, a short skirt, if it's boobs, a low cut top. You get the idea. It may sound vain, but if it gets your confidence up you're more likely to feel happier and more 'deserving' of looking after your own health.
3. Aside from weight, how else can I track my progress? I thought about using a tape measure but I don't know what to actually measure.
I use a scale that measures my body fat % along side my weight and I track this. I also like to keep my biggest ever pair of jeans around to try on whenever I've somehow managed to convince myself that the 50lb I've lost is back (sounds crazy, but believe me, our minds can trick us).
As for the tape measure, it doesn't matter so much as to where you measure, but more so that you measure in the same place every time. Generally, it's good to measure your hips (at the widest part), waist (at the most narrow part), and chest. For men, measure at the nipple level, for women, I recommend measuring the fullest part of your bust, and also just underneath your bust. I also measure parts of me like my thighs and biceps to see how these change over the course of weight loss and strength training.
4. I need to lose weight, but I've no idea where to start and I don't really know how much I need to lose, I just know that I'm fat.
First port of call: see how you measure up. This is the worst part, so prepare yourself by telling yourself that if your weight falls somewhere in the higher zones, it's ok because this is the highest it'll ever be. Hop on the nearest scale and check your weight, along side your height, on a site like this one to assess your BMI. If possible, weigh yourself in the nude, first thing in the morning (after visiting the toilet, before breakfast). This is a more accurate method of weighing yourself, so stick to this in future.
Next you'll need to work out your ideal weight, you can do this using a site like this one , which will give you a target weight range ideal for your gender and height. This will be your overall goal. If you have a lot to lose, break it down into mini goals to make it much less daunting, as I describe here .
Now that part is over, sign up to a site like MyFitnessPal . Using info such as your height, current weight and overall goal weight, the site (and app) will set you up with a daily calorie amount to eat and give you more to eat each time you log a workout. The site also has a community section for support from the other members which proves to be vital to get you started and through any obstacles you may face along the way. If you don't want to use a site or app for whatever reason, you can manually workout your calorie goal using this equation .